Fourth of July, Independence Day, Uncle Sam

Happy Birthday Uncle Sam!

I’m thinking of family and friends as we celebrate our nation’s birthday. I have lots of good memories, some may have been with you. I thought I’d share a few.

*      Daddy holds a Roman candle at arm’s length as colored balls of fire fly upward into the night sky. In the background, I hear Mother’s plea, “Be careful, Wilbur!” She’s probably why all I ever got to buy were sparklers, but they were just my speed and so pretty!

*      The boys next door weren’t allowed to shoot firecrackers after Bill tried to smoke one. I wasn’t around when he pulled that stunt, but we figured he had learned his lesson and felt sorry for them missing out on all the pop and bang.


*    Fourth of July preparations are big doings for little boys clutching dollar bills while they survey the offerings at the Fireworks stand. How many bottle rockets for a dollar? How much are the cherry bombs and firecrackers? Starting with my brother, I’ve watched three generations go through the ritual. 

*      “Uncle Sam’s birthday calls for a cake,” Grandma tells the little girl perched on the counter with her eye on the rich batter swirling inside the bowl. I know from experience, she’s wondering how much will be left for her to scrape. I can assure her, plenty.


*      I feel the sweat trickle down my back and the hard ground beneath my bottom as we wait in the sweltering heat with half the state of Arkansas for nightfall. But the thrill of that first starburst lighting up the sky as the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra plays its heart out somehow makes the wait worthwhile.

*    Our extended family acquires a new exclamation as a jubilant six-year-old boy greets every fireworks display with Yippee-Haacha! Now he has children of his own, and it’s still our favorite shout of joy.

To all those who have served our country in the military, I send my heartfelt gratitude.
To those who died for us or have gone on before us, I remember.

And to all my family and friends, wherever you’re spending this Fourth of July, I hope the company is sweet, the burgers and hot dogs juicy, the drinks icy cold, and all the fireworks are Yippee-Haacha awesome! 

What are your favorite memories of Uncle Sam’s birthday?

All these wonderful pictures are courtesy of our neighbor, Steve Rucker. He and Cissy, both veterans, are great neighbors. Over the past ten years, they’ve fed us lots of yummy food and cool libations as we dipped our toes in their beautiful pool. Happy Fourth of July, Ciss and Steve! We love you much!
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…
Psalm 33:12a

Copyright © Reflections from Dorothy’s Ridge 2014. All rights reserved



3 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Uncle Sam!”

  1. I have lots of fireworks memories too. Buying them at the little stand on the outskirts of Osceola. Shooting them over Lake Norfork. We'll be enjoying the holiday with our neighborhood friends. Happy 4th!


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